Johnny O'Connell Biography

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Johnny O'Connell Biography
Johnny O'Connell is a factory driver in the General Motors Chevrolet Corvette Racing sports car racing program and was responsible for the team's first overall victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona and first Le Mans class victory in 2001. O'Connell is recognized as one of North America's best and diverse racing drivers.
O'Connell developed an early love for auto racing and found success right from the start in single seaters. Competing professionally for the first time in the Formula Atlantic series in 1987, he won five races en route to the championship and was awarded the Rookie of the Year award. Success followed in the road racing arena, where O'Connell won the 12 Hours of Sebring for his class in 1993, overall in 1994 and another class victory in 1995. He also won his class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1994, his first outing at Le Sarthe.
He subsequently ran a season of Indy Cars and then re-entered sports car racing with Panoz until receiving an offer to join the works Corvette effort for 2001. O'Connell proved himself worthy of the challenge, winning the 24 Hours of Daytona outright in his first race behind the wheel of the Corvette C5-R and followed with the team's first victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Since then, he has won countless races, helped the team capture three straight manufacturers' titles and pulled home the drivers' championship for the GTS class in 2003 along with teammate Ron Fellows. For 2004, O'Connell will reprise his role with the #3 Corvette C5-R in hopes of capturing another championship for Chevrolet.
O'Connell lives in Georgia with his wife, Robin and children, Canaan and Kelly.
Career Highlights

  • Formula Atlantic West Champion 1987, 5 wins

  • Formula Atlantic Rookie of the Year 1987

  • American Racing Series 1989 (Ganassi) 1 win

  • IMSA GTO Championship 1991-1993 (Nissan), 2 wins

  • Winner GTS 12 Hours of Sebring 1993 (Nissan)

  • IMSA GTS Vice Champion 1994 (Nissan), 2 wins

  • Winner overall 12 Hours of Sebring 1994 (Nissan)

  • GT-1 winner 12 Hours of Sebring 1995 (Nissan)

  • Indy Racing League 1996 (Reynard)

  • PSCR World Sports Car Championship 1997 (Hawk, Panoz)

  • PSCR World Sports Car Championship 1998 (R&S, Panoz), 1 win

  • American Le Mans Series 1999 - 2000 (Panoz), 1 win

  • Winner Overall 24 Hours of Daytona 2001 (Corvette)

  • American Le Mans Series 2001 (Corvette) 5 wins

  • American Le Mans Series 2002 (Corvette) 7 wins

  • Winner GTS 12 Hours of Sebring 2002 and 2003 (Corvette)

  • American Le Mans Series GTS Champion 2003 (Corvette) 3 wins

  • American Le Mans Series 2004 (Corvette)

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